Darn Those Nagging Moms

Mothers often are unfairly pegged as being nags who worry too much. That was not the case with my "mother" (my gram).

Mothers often are unfairly pegged as being nags who worry too much. That was not the case with my “mother” (my gram). Nagging worrywart would have been a very fair description of her. In fact, that stereotype may have originated with her. My gram passed away a little over a year ago and somehow her nagging and worrywarting lives on. If I go out into the rain without a coat on, I have flashbacks of her saying, “Where’s your coat? You’re going to get pneumonia!”

I cannot remember a time that my gram didn’t worry or nag, but apparently the universe thought she needed more practice because I suddenly became stricken with epilepsy as a teenager.

I’m not sure if stricken is the correct word to use when discussing the onset of this disorder. Caught epilepsy? Contracted epilepsy? Became infected with epilepsy? Developed epilepsy? I have no idea what the politically correct version is, but I’m thinking that I get a free pass to say whatever I want as a reluctant member of this club. As the self-appointed president, I’m officially going with the term “stricken” just because it sounds more dramatic.

Regardless of the terms, my gram’s nagging really spiraled out of control when I started having seizures. Every day I heard her say, “Did you take your medicine? Are you feeling OK? You look tired. Do you need to rest? I wish you would take better care of yourself. Are you eating well? You look skinny. Do you want me to fix you something?! Don’t let yourself go without eating!”

I’m not proud of this, but because I was 15 years old, I began hearing Charlie Brown’s teacher when my gram started in. “Did you wah-wah-wah? Are you wah-wah-wah? You look wah-wah-wah.” (Dear teenagers, you’re going to have to YouTube “Charlie Brown’s teacher” to get that joke.)

The more my gram worried and nagged, the more I rebelled. I was not about to consider for even one minute that she was right. I continued to have lots of seizures and she continued to worry and we made no progress for a long time.

It took about a decade, but my gram’s words finally sank in. After I passed through the “I know everything” stage of my life, I started taking care of myself. Amazingly, I had fewer and fewer seizures and eventually my epilepsy was under control. She was right all along. Her nagging and worrywarting saved my life, in more ways than one, but especially in regard to my seizures.

So in my gram’s memory, I’d like to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all you nags and worrywarts out there. Keep on nagging and worrying. Your kids will sigh, roll their eyes, and maybe even make faces behind your back (or so I’ve heard), but someday they will thank their lucky stars every single day that they were blessed to be loved so much by a nagging, worrying mother … or grandmother.